Online dating sites are being targeted by scammers

FARGO, ND. (Valley News Live) - Swiping for love on dating apps could end up costing you some major cash if you aren't careful. The Federal Trade Commission is warning about predators who aren't looking for you to open up your heart. Instead, they want you to open up your checkbook.

“Catfishing has kind of gone around,” said Zoe Roelfsema-Hummel from Moorhead. “You are lying to someone for your own gain, whether it’s a personal relationship or money.”

It’s being reported that more than $143 million were lost last year to romance scams, and it’s on the rise. Romance scams are when you will meet someone online, they will work to gain your trust, and then they exploit you for money.

“I’ve had something wonderful come out of Tinder, and to think that people are using this for their own financial gain, it’s really sad,” said Roelfsema-Hummel.

While people are putting themselves in a vulnerable situation, it’s important to still take note of red flags.

“Not willing to call you on the phone, not willing to show your their face or verify that it is their face, asking for money is clearly a huge red flag,” said Roelfsema-Hummel.

It’s always a good idea to do a little research.

“I Facebook people, I Instagram them and I Google them,” said Leigha Widner from Fargo. “Google is the best way because you can look up a lot of different things on there.”

The number one rule is to never send money to someone you met online. If you do find yourself in this type of dating scam, protect yourself and also protect others by reporting it to the dating site as well as the FTC to help prevent them from targeting other people in the future.